Shona Vocabulary

The Shona vocabulary is the backbone for learning. Below we picked 70% of the most commonly used words. Therefore memorizing them will give you a 70% boost in the language. This is the smarter way of online learning. Learn only what you need. We start with commonly used numbers.

One: potsi Two: piri Three: tatu
Four: ina Five: shanu Six: nhanhatu
Seven: nomwe Eight: sere Nine: pfumbamwe
Ten: gumi First: yokutanga Second: yepiri

Days of the week and time expressions:

Monday: muvhuro Tuesday: chipiri Wednesday: chitatu
Thursday: china Friday: chishanu Saturday: mugovera
Sunday: svondo Now: iye zvino Yesterday: nezuro
Today: nhasi Tonight: manheru anhasi Tomorrow: mangwana

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Most popular fruits and vegetables:

Fruits: michero Apples: maapuro
Bananas: mabhanana Tomatoes: matomati
Potatoes: mbatatisi Onions: hanyanisi

Colors that we think are very important to remember:

Red: tsvuku Green: girini Blue: bhuruu
White: chena Black: nhema Grey: pfumbu

Some words related to food:

Breakfast: kudya kwemangwanani Lunch: kudya kwemasikati
Dinner: kudya kwemanheru Milk: mukaka
Coffee: kofi Bread: chingwa

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Weather terms and sensations:

Sunny: kune zuva Windy: kune mhepo Rainy: kuri kunaya
Snowy: kune sinou Cold: kutonhora Hot: kupisa

Words related to family and relatives:

Boy: mukomana Girl: musikana
Son: mwanakomana Daughter: mwanasikana
Brother: hanzvadzi Sister: hanzvadzi
Man: murume Woman: mukadzi
Father: baba Mother: amai
Grandfather: sekuru Grandmother: ambuya

Locations in the house which are talked about more during the day:

House: imba Toilet: chimbudzi Room: imba
Bedroom: imba yokurara Kitchen: kicheni Table: tafura

Animals and pets popular to everyone:

Cat: katsi Dog: imbwa Mouse: mbeva
Bird: shiri Cow: mombe Horse: bhiza

The clothes most worn by most people:

Socks: masokisi Shoes: bhutsu Trousers: tirauzi
Shirt: hembe Sweater: juzi Coat: chibhachi

Most popular languages in the world:

English: chirungu French: chifrench German: chigerman
Spanish: chispanish Italian: chiitaly Portuguese: chiputukezi
Greek: chigreek Russian: chirussia Arabic: chiarabhu
Hindi: chihindi Chinese: chichina Japanese: chijapanese


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Most popular terms when traveling:

Taxi: tekisi Bus: bhazi
Hotel: hotera Reservation: kubhuka
Airport: nhandare yendege Passport: pasipoti

Words you can use in class or talking about school:

Student: mudzidzi Teacher: mudzidzisi Pen: chinyoreso
Books: mabhuku Page: peji Dictionary: duramazwi

Body parts which are talked about more often:

Hand: ruoko Feet: tsoka Hair: bvudzi
Eye: ziso Mouth: muromo Nose: mhino

Emergency vocabulary to ask for help or offer help when needed:

Ambulance: amburenzi Doctor: chiremba
Hospital: chipatara Pharmacy: famasi
Police: mapurisa Stomach Ache: kurwadziwa nomudumbu

As you can see, this Shona vocabulary is something you will need every day. You can use our Vocabulary Trainer to help you memorize these words.

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Shona Phrases


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Did you know? People use only a small amount of their vocabulary on a daily basis. The rest of the words are either unused or not used often.